Chow Happy New Year Recipe
posted by December 28 at 17:34 PMon
OK, admittedly, I’m posting this in part to knock Josh’s Freedom Socialist press release off the bottom of Slog. BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t guarantee yourself luck and riches with black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day, believed to bring prosperity because they resemble coins and cash. (Why it’s called Hoppin’ John, meanwhile, has been the subject of lengthy speculation). Anyway, here’s a recipe I like from the Lee Brothers’ Southern Cookbook, which I own and love.
1 cup dried black-eyed peas or field peas (You can also substitute fresh, often available this time of year; just omit the soaking step and cook until tender.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 smoked hog jowl, or 1/4 pound (3 strips) thick-cut smoked bacon
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
5 or 6 peeled whole tomatoes, or half a 28-ounce can, drained (optional)
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice.
1. Wash the peas in a strainer, and soak them for 4 hours in ample fresh water. When ready, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 4-quart pot, and brown the hog jowl on both sides. (If using bacon, omit the olive oil, and simply render the fat in the pot for 5 minutes.) Add onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water, black pepper, red pepper and salt, and bring to a boil.
2. Let mixture boil 10 minutes, and then add peas. Maintain a low boil, uncovered, until peas are nearly tender (25 minutes for black-eyed peas, 30 minutes for field peas). In a bowl, lightly crush tomatoes, and add to pot. Add rice to pot, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
3. Turn off flame, and allow hoppin’ John to steam in pot, lid on, for 5 minutes. If using hog jowl, remove from pot, and shred meat. Fluff hoppin’ John, and add shredded jowl. Serve.